Yeah, I have tinnitus by now but it’s not so bad.. I’ve DJed a lot of parties and made a lot of mixtapes over the years… And now you can listen and download most of them right here. The best place to begin is 2001’s game-changing live 3-turntable mix, Gold Teeth Thief. This influenced a lot of people & opened many ears; over a decade later, the world sounds a lot more like I was hearing/blending it back then. All mp3 free download.
Here’s a list of most of my mixes in chronological order for free download as V0 mp3s. (Hit Discogs for tracklists.) After the list you’ll find cover art & brief commentary on each one, presented in a ‘suggested listening’ order. If my course through the world of sound has moved you over the y/ears, please consider a donation. You can also find me on Twitter, Instagram, or sign-up for my newsletter.
EPIPHANY SCHOOL – over 8 hours of Rupture mixes from 2001-2012!
The overwhelming response to this mix changed my life. Countless fans have told me that it changed their ideas about music, too. I posted this online for free in early 2001 and by the end of the year there were hundreds of thousands of downloads, and write-ups in places like VIBE, where Jon Caramanica’s 4-star review called it: “A stunning, globe-trotting, three-turntable mix… bumping, brash, and without borders.” You can read more about Gold Teeth Thief in my n+1 essay from 2008.
This is my most approachable mix — probably because it’s the only one I’ve ever licensed 100% legally…
From Pitchfork’s Best New Music review: “While Uproot feels every bit as purposeful as those earlier mixes, it achieves that goal though different means. Musically, it’s far more subdued and spacious; the lacerating swathes of digital noise have been subbed out for tracks that favor lonely, clattering rhythms, yawning sub-basslines, and displaced vocals. Like a lot of his contemporaries, Rupture has clearly gravitated towards dubstep over the past few years, and Uproot shows his selection skills in that space are as impeccable as they are elsewhere... Clayton’s selections are generous and far-reaching, and build a pretty compelling case for dubstep as the most creatively robust genre in electronic music right now.”
Be sure to check out Gary Breslin’s video piece for Uproot. It’s incredible. Matt Shadetek & I produced the instrumental beat “Reef” that you hear in the video.
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This is the epic one. Will Hermes’ Entertainment Weekly review sums it up nicely: “If Robert Rauschenberg were a DJ obsessed with the global black experience, his records would sound like this. Minesweeper flexes much like /rupture’s bootleg-style MP3 hit from last year, Gold Teeth Thief, spinning Timbaland stutter snares, North African chants, ruffneck dance-hall reggae MCs, videogame drum ‘n’ bass rolls, and noise blasts into an ever-mutating mix. Even when things lurch into chaos, there’s still something to hold onto — a fractured rhythm inside the distortion, a steady vocal melody above the seasick beats. And remember: With /rupture, you always get more samples than you paid for. ONE FOR THE DIVAS Public-radio piano queen Norah Jones turns up, before morphing into Sade, Soul II Soul’s Caryn Wheeler, and too many others to count.”
The title translates to ‘Because I’m A Soundboy And I Go To Many Places’. You can hear cumbia and other so-called tropical sounds creeping into my set in a more overt way on this one, it’s a transitional moment.
Shoutouts to Shehab, who brought over Mutamassik and I to DJ in Dubai. This was in 2003-4, back when Bidoun was an event production crew (& not yet a lush print magazine headquartered in NYC). He asked each of us to do a 30min promo mix, which we later compiled on a split CD. Here’s my set. Vocals in the beginning come from the extraordinary Moroccan band Nass El Ghiwane. Boomkat wrote, “World-class and world-conscious. Rupture’s blazing half-hour bidoun session fuses hot new orientalist dancehall and battle-grade hiphop with arabic vocals and instrumentation, soul divas, and a dusting of break-core grit.”
Remember 2005? Grime, crunk, dancehall, plus some Berber horns in 6/8 at the beginning to go with dead prez. It was that kind of year. Low Income Tomorrowland was first available on the mighty Lemon-Red blog then later sold on a CD with 30minutes of audio (that’s what’s here) & an additional 90 minutes of data MP3s from some radio mixes I did in Germany. LIT is the last mix of mine to use any breakcore/d&b (I think).
This fan video goes above and beyond the standard ‘black kids dancing’ oogle-vid: their flipped Big Freedia bounces in Sizzla-karaoke mode as post-GIF edits accentuate the frenzy of the blend.
“Once, a group of tourists were asked what came to mind when they heard the word “Harlem”: some said “music” and the others said “riots.” The connection between the two is a story for another time. This Harlem mixtape is born of our own free associations: For Rupture, Francophone songs sold by scowling Africans along 116th, or old soul and R&B memories being hawked alongside the now-thing bootlegs across 125th; for Sharifa, church sounds tumbling onto the streets and distorted strains of jazz heard from a boombox carted around by a wandering neighbor.”
— Go here to keep reading the introduction that Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts & I wrote for Harlem Is Nowhere, a collaborative mix which formed part of DOMUS magazine’s ‘City Mixtapes’ series.
Chase Hoffberger has a great review: “Though it was Ralph Ellison who first coined the phrase “Harlem is Nowhere” in 1948, DJ /rupture’s beautifully complex mix made with writer Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts lends itself closer to Toni Morrison’s freeform, Harlem-set Jazz. Like Harlem’s beloved musical pastime, “Harlem is Nowhere” carries a loose, meandering narrative, one pulled from Rhodes-Pitts’ book of the same name and read poignantly by the author. The music – helmed by /rupture, who with Matt Shadetek runs Brooklyn’s Dutty Artz – is divine. A lead of Shabazz Palace’s smacking “Kill White T;” Gil Scott-Heron’s stripped “New York Is Killing Me;” a scratchy cut of Rev. Johnny L. Jones’ “I Got Drunk for the Lord/Train is Moving On;” this is the Harlem landscape: chaotic, spiritual, heated and beautiful. That’s never captured better than on Jennie C. Jones’ “You Make Me Feel Like 100 Billie Holiday Songs,” a swirling, sprawling and elegantly maddening amalgamation of the Harlem Lady’s many voices.”
893 & I made a non-standard website that formed the ‘tracklist’ to this mix, which I accidentally let get deleted. I still regret that! Moral of the story: Secret Google Cheat Codes Are Real. This half-hour mix was available on a split mix CD.
In late 2008, BBC presenter Rob Da Bank asked me to put together a cumbia mix for BBC 1 radio — the first-ever cumbia set they aired! Here are the results. (I released a version without radio drops as “K-K-Kumbia”, artwork above). I’d been digging these sounds for several years then and had recently published a feature on cumbia in The Fader.
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Matt Shadetek & I produced about a third of the music in this mix. A New York City thing. Chillin’ in Rome with my friend Sara Taigher, I explained the whole ‘kids grilling octopii & making beats on cellphones in a drowned NY 40 years in the future’ vibe that Matt & I were on — which can be read in the short story in the physical liner notes! — and she instantly got it, then upped the ante. Witness the results in her stunning video below:
These last two mixes (for now) are both special 2012 one-offs. Change The Mood snapshots what my party mixes were like in summer 2012 — it’s only 23 minutes long, but packs in a lot. I did this mix to help promote a fundraiser club night for ‘Beyond The Block ‘, a community-minded social justice oriented street party we threw in Brooklyn. Change The Mood starts off with a classic Lauryn aca… The ‘Arabic’ sounding beats you hear under Mobb Deep then Dani Shivers and later with auto-tune vox are from Cairo — earlier this year I spent time with DJ Figo, Amr 7a7a, and other incredible young musicians in Egypt which you can read about in the feature article I wrote on their ‘festival’ scene for The Fader.
We gave away physical copies of The Sunset Park Rent Strike Mix at Beyond The Block. In helping to make the block party happen, I ended up working closely with people involved in the rent strike on 46th St. The mixtape idea clicked into place all at once: I would select made-in-the-USA cumbia instrumentals, and have those sounds serve as a backing track to the rent strikers explaining, in their own words, what is happening, why they are struggling. Most of the three rent striking buildings’ residents are Latino immigrants, many from Mexico. I mentioned my idea at a meeting — people were into it. Pues… ¡Vámonos! Check out an in-depth writeup about the mix & the event.
If that’s not enough, head over to my WFMU radio show’s archives — five years of weekly one-hours shows, all streamable! I don’t mix on the radio but the track selection and special guests keep things lively.